Grooming your horse need not be a stressful practice. If you are new to horse grooming, you will find that it can be difficult at first.
You have to be willing to create a trusting relationship with your animal and learn your pet’s quirks. There are some horses that require extra attention and grooming, so it pays to learn early on what your horse needs.
How to Wash Your Horse in Winter and Summer
If you are a newly minted horse owner or a beginner, you may not know where to start. Here are some ideas on how to start your bathing ritual.
Begin with a pre-bath enhancer. You can create your own pre-bath enhancer using household items such as vinegar and olive oil.
Mix two equal parts of each together for a natural coat soak. Sponge it onto your horse and leave it for up to three days. Make sure to plan this ahead for the right time of the year.
The next step is to apply a little petroleum jelly to your horse’s hooves before using water. Water is surprisingly damaging to hooves. Water can cause your horses hooves to dry out or become easily cracked. Don’t apply jelly if you plan on sanding the hooves.
Now it’s time to prepare your horse shampoo mixture. Use a baby shampoo for horses with sensitive skin and hair.
You can use the horse shampoo for sale at your local pet supply store. Make sure to dilute the shampoo, no matter what the bottle says. For bringing out your horse’s natural color, try a color enhancing shampoo for horses.
This is a nice way to get your horse’s colors to stand out.
If you plan on braiding your horse’s mane, you should not shampoo or condition it. Keep it wet and use hair gel after bathing, because using shampoo or condition will make it difficult to braid it.
There are some areas of your horse that may be difficult to wash or clean. If you are afraid of getting too close, consider getting a second pair of hands to help you out. Try to remain calm as your horse can read anxiety. Horses are amazingly sensitive animals and can tell when you are anxious about something.
Hot oil is one trick you can use if your horse’s tail is dry and brittle. Choose a hot oil treatment that is intended for humans. In most cases, you will see instant results, enjoying the shine of a moisturized tail.
For rinsing your horse’s tail, use some apple vinegar and rinse with water. This is a great mixture to remove shampoo. Apple vinegar also makes a great rinse because it repels flies, thus helping your horse remain comfortable.
Remember to apply a sheen product to the tail area and the body before it dries. Do not apply it to the saddle area, girth or mane, as these areas are sensitive. Instead, use a small cloth to get your horse’s face. If you don’t have a sheen product made especially for horses, use some baby oil in your rinsing water instead.
Finish up your bathing process with a steel wool cloth and lightly take the dirt off of your horse’s hoofs. Use saddle soap and neat’s-foot oil to take care of cracking hooves. An old home remedy is to use bacon grease for this problem.
Bathing a horse is a lengthy and involved process, but it must be done right. Despite the challenges, anyone can learn how to bathe a horse the right way. With some patience and knowledge, you too can give your horse the bathe of its life.